(Australian Associated Press)
LATEST NEWS ABOUT COVID-19:
- Australian deaths: 16 (eight in NSW, four in Vic, two in WA, two in Qld).
- Confirmed cases in Australia: 3984.
- NSW remains the worst hit with 1791 after 186 new cases were confirmed on the weekend.
- Victoria recorded 84 new cases, taking the state’s total to 769. A fourth Victorian died overnight.
- A Queensland woman died, while the state recorded an extra 31 cases, taking the total to 656.
- SA was up 12 to 299, while WA was up 33, to 311.
- ACT has six new cases and 77 in total, Tasmania has risen to 66 and the NT has 15.
- Rate of case increase is now nine per cent, well down on 25 per cent last week.
- $1.1 billion package to help with mental health, domestic violence prevention and other health measures.
- A federal government WhatsApp group and a coronavirus app have been set up to provide Australians with updates.
- Australians returning home from overseas will be quarantined for two weeks in hotels or other accommodation before being allowed home.
- People flouting social distancing, isolation or quarantine orders face fines of $1000 or more in most states.
- Around 350 Australian Defence Force personnel are supporting state and territory authorities to enforce quarantine compliance.
- Borders closed in Queensland, Tasmania, SA, NT and WA. Freight and essential travel excepted.
- Tasmania and SA has banned gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Non-essential travel should cease.
- Australians, excluding aid workers and compassionate travel cases, are banned from international travel.
- A limited number of international rescue flights will be made for stranded Australians.
- Groups of more than two people in public are discouraged, unless members of the same households (e.g. families). States still have to enforce the new rule, from the current rule limiting groups to 10 people.
- People aged over 70 or 60-plus with chronic illness are discouraged from leaving their homes unless essential for medical care.
- Still open: supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, public transport, some schools, hairdressers, petrol stations, postal and freight services, bottle shops, newsagents, retail shops. Restaurants restricted to take-away/delivery in most states.
- Closed: schools in Victoria and ACT, gyms, indoor sports venues, pubs, cinemas, nightclubs, casinos, places of worship, theme parks, auction houses, food courts in shopping centres, beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, spas and tattoo parlours, galleries, museums, libraries, youth centres, community halls, clubs, RSL clubs, swimming pools, amusement parks, arcades, indoor and outdoor play centres, social sports that involve large groups, outdoor and indoor markets, outdoor playgrounds, skate parks.
- School holidays in Queensland, SA and WA also brought forward with only children of parents who have essential jobs allowed to stay.
- Funerals are limited to no more than 10 people, but states can provide exemptions; weddings restricted to the couple, celebrant and two witnesses.
- All elective surgery in public facilities put on hold.
- Testing extended to include anyone with a fever or acute respiratory infection who works in health care or aged care, lives in areas with an elevated risk of community transmission, or where there are two or more plausibly linked cases.
- All patients will be able to access Medicare-funded online consultations from next week.
“There have been some disturbing incidents of people hiding their symptoms in order to get treatment for other health issues,” AMA (NSW) President Dr Kean-Seng Lim.
- A Newcastle Jets player became the first professional footballer in Australia to test positive.
- The AFL, NRL, A-league soccer, Super Rugby and netball competitions are postponed.
- Federal parliament has passed two packages worth $17.6 billion and $66 billion in response to the outbreak of the virus; states have also announced stimulus packages.
- Government is expected to announce a form of wage subsidy as soon as today as part of a third support package.
- The federal government has tightened foreign investment rules after global fears about the economic impact of the coronavirus caused the value of Australian businesses to fall.
- Moratorium on renters being evicted for the next six months. Commercial renters will see new rules in the coming days.
- Struggling regional airlines were promised $198 million and offered an additional $100 million if needed.
- Major retailers including Myer, Premier Investment, and fashion chains such as Country Road have closed retail shops, but continue to trade online.
- Supermarkets Woolworths and Coles are hiring thousands to meet demand.
- An economist has predicted an unemployment rate between 15-17 per cent by Easter.
- Cases: at least 715,551
- Deaths: at least 33,656
- Recovered: at least 150,889
- Source: State government updates and worldometer website at 1600 AEDT